SoftBank Capital raises $51 mn to invest in New York tech startups

MUMBAI: SoftBank Capital, a venture group affiliated with Japan?s SoftBank has announced that it raised an additional $51.02 million to invest in early-stage New York State technology startups. The additional capital extends SoftBank Capital?s position as a complete early-to-late stage investment partner with an ongoing commitment to New York?s emerging technology scene.

SoftBank Capital New York partner Jordan Levy will oversee investments, with others including Ron Fisher (Managing Partner), Joe Medved (Partner), Ron Schreiber (NY Partner) and special partners, Eric Hippeau (Lerer Ventures) and Mike Perlis (President and CEO of Forbes Media), also helping to manage the fund. The major investments will focus on the high-growth sectors of social, ecommerce and software.

This team has previously led a series of investments in New York-based startups for SoftBank Capital. These included investments in companies such as Buddy Media, acquired by, Huffington Post, acquired by AOL, OMGPOP, acquired by Zynga, and Hyperpublic, acquired by Groupon.

Levy said, "We were very pleased by some of the big successes with previous New York investments and feel our latest drop-down fund will be equally beneficial in helping to fuel the next generation of promising New York State startups."

SoftBank Capital has already made its first investment, leading a $10 million investment round into Work Market with other firms Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, which follows along SoftBank?s strategy of investing with the best firms on the eastern seaboard. Work Market provides a marketplace to revolutionise the way businesses work with freelancers, contractors and consultants. The company has also announced that Levy has joined Work Market?s board of directors.

Work Market CEO and co-founder Jeff Leventhal said, "We view SoftBank Capital as perfect partner for us in being able to successfully grow our business and reach a key audience of entrepreneurs and businesses, which will create a real advantage for us going forward".

The New York State investments are a key component of SoftBank Capital?s diverse array of investment activities. Already this year, the firm has announced $250 million in funding targeted toward growth-stage, sector-leading technology companies intending to expand their Asian presence and a $20 million investment from Yahoo! Japan intended for early-stage investments for U.S. startups looking to break into the Japanese market.

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